Ashton Ardley took on the July Round of the Eastern Lions Kart Club Championship over the weekend. Ashton had an up and down weekend at the last round, taking pole position and heat one victory in the wet, before lacking grip in the drier heats on worn slick tyres. With this being the last time anyone could race at the track before the next round of the National Series, Ardley was looking for some strong track time.
Qualifying was the first port of call and it was tough start for Ardley. On brand new tyres his grip levels were low early in the session and a fuel issue hurt his pace and lap speed. Ashton pressed on as fast as he could under the conditions making his way into the top ten. The Pro Karting powered driver was able to set the eighth fastest time in trying conditions out of sixteen drivers.
Looking to heat one Ardley achieved a clean get away, staying inside the top ten. His Pro Karting engine was running well and Ashton was able to make his way up to position seven mid race. In an exciting finish the Formula K karter dragged to the line, just missing out on position six.
Ardley achieved a much better start in heat two, going straight into position seven by lap one. Ashton drove his heart out making his way into position five by mid race. On the second last lap the Pro Karting powered driver made his way inside the top three, finishing there in a fantastic drive making up five places in six laps.
Out of position five for heat three the Formula K karter dropped back to position six. Ashton made his way back up to position four by mid race and was in a battle with Victorian State Champion Toby Dvorak for third. In another exciting finish Ardley dragged to the line with Dvorak, just missing out on a podium spot in position four.
Excitement was high for Ashton going into the final after a great recovery from qualifying. Ardley was out of position four for the final and stayed in the top five off the start. By mid-race the Pro Karting backed karter was back in fourth battling with Dvorak. The Formula K karter was able to make his way onto the podium on lap five and come home with an impressive third spot. Due to his result Ardley just missed the podium overall coming home in position four, three points off a podium finish.
Ashton spoke post-race of his weekend. “Overall, I am really happy with the racing, but disappointed that a poor qualifying result cost me my first podium in Juniors, which I missed out on by only 3 points”.
Ashton’s father Josh spoke of his son’s progression heading into the Australian Kart Championship round. “I am really happy with Ashton’s performance this weekend. Having had tyres that were too old last event — and too new this time — hopefully next time we’ll have a ‘Goldilocks’ situation, and they’ll be ‘just right’! The kart and engine performed fantastically, and we’d like to thank Pro Karting for all of their assistance. We’re looking forward to our first ever AKC round in two weeks — at our home track of Eastern Lions — in KA4 Junior.”